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August 29, 2011

After Irene: How You Can Help Vermont

Shem2 Many people have been asking how they can help Vermonters who have suffered the most from the historic flooding Tropical Storm Irene caused on Sunday. Here are some resources with information on donation and volunteer efforts.

Before we get to the rest of the list: If you're looking to volunteer somewhere, or if you need assistance, visit VTResponse.com first. They've been doing amazing work linking up volunteers. That site should be your first stop if you want to lend a helping hand. (We've covered their story here and here.)

If you know of any relief efforts that aren't listed here, let us know in the comments. We'll update the list periodically.

Photo of flooding in Richmond by Shem Roose

DONATIONS

  • Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.
  • You can donate to the United Way's Vermont Disaster Relief Fund online, or buy sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the "Vermont Disaster Relief Fund".
  • You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.
  • The VT Irene Flood Relief Fund is raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund is being administered by Todd K. Bailey.
  • The MRV Community Fund has been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding.
  • Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.
  • Burr and Burton Academy has started a fund to help relief efforts in the Manchester area.
  • The Preservation Trust of Vermont is taking donations to help rebuilding and cleanup efforts for the historic buildings and bridges damaged by Irene. Make a donation on their site and be sure to note "Hurricane Relief" in the Comments section.
  • The Intervale Center has started a fund to help the farmers at Burlington's Intervale who lost their crops to flooding. To make a contribution, donate to the Intervale and designate your donation to the "Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund." Or mail a check payable to Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund to the Intervale Center, 180 Intervale Road, Burlington, VT 05401.
  • NOFA Vermont is also accepting donations for their Farmers Emergency Fund to help aid the state's hard-hit farms.
  • The Deerfield Valley Rotary Club is taking donations to help businesses in Wilmington rebuild. Wilmington was one of the hardest-hit towns, and FEMA funds won't cover much of the damage to private businesses.
  • The Waterbury Congregational Church has set up the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund, to help residents who need immediate financial assistance.
  • The Stratton Foundation has set up a relief fund to help the towns of Londonderry, Jamaica, Stratton, Weston, and Winhall.
  • Sustainable Woodstock has set up a fund to assist flood victims in and around the hard-hit town of Woodstock.
  • If you'd like to donate non-perishable food, the Square Pantry restaurant in downtown Northfield is accepting donations. You can bring them to the back entrance (green door) and leave them in the kitchen.
  • Also in Northfield, you can donate household goods on East Street, next to Delary's Plumbing, on Sundays and Mondays from 9 AM to 4 PM. They're looking for diapers (size 1 & 2), baby food, pet food, sandwich bags, rubber gloves, shampoo, feminine supplies, and cleaning supplies. (Please do not bring clothing to this location.)
  • Upper Valley Haven is accepting cash and goods for donation to flood victims. For a full list of the Haven's needs, see this comment.

VOLUNTEERING

  • VTResponse.com is working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. The site includes a frequently-updated blog and a forum. If you're looking to help clean up and rebuild, or if you're in need of assistance, visit their site.
  • The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.
  • Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.
  • Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.
  • The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebook is functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.
  • Vermont Helping Hands is also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.
  • The state is setting up a call center in Burlington to deal with Irene recovery efforts. If you're in the Burlington area and you can man the phones for a few hours, email governorvt [at] state.vt.us.
  • The 802 Rescue site has set up a Vermont Disaster Outpost page with information on volunteering and meetup sites for help in towns affected by Irene.
  • The MRV Hurricane Irene Facebook page is coordinating volunteer efforts in the Mad River Valley.

BENEFIT SALES

BENEFIT EVENTS

MORE RESOURCES

  • If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit vt211.org.
  • The Help Vermont Facebook group is another place to share recovery information.
  • Sublet.com will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 for more information.
  • For child care providers who have been affected by Irene, check out the Resources for Relief (Child Care Providers of VT) page on Facebook.
  • If you're looking to get help from volunteers, check out VolunteerMatch.org.
  • The Basin Harbor Club is offering complementary accomodations for Vermonters who can no longer stay in their hotels. Visit their website for more information.
  • Looking for federal disaster assistance? Simply calling 211 is NOT enough. Make sure you register with FEMA. Here's a guide on how to do that.
  • Household supplies for flood victims in and around Northfield are available on East Street in Northfield, next to Delary's Plumbing. Hours are Sunday and Monday from 9 AM to 4 PM, with more hours possible.
  • Some New Hampshire artisans are offering to recreate any one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that were lost in the flood. For more information, email vltrnjd [at] yahoo [dot] com.

The Salvation Army and AmeriCares also have relief operations in Vermont and other areas devastated by Irene.

9/4 UPDATE
How the Haven is Helping the “Irene” Recovery

A warm thank you to the Upper Valley community and beyond! The generosity we are seeing from local towns - and from areas as far away as New York City, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida and California - is phenomenal! The teamwork among communities has been inspiring; we are all partnering in a massive collection effort for those needing resources, and then redistributing to fill the particular needs of each area. Today we found ourselves sending a box truck full of food, bedding, towels and other supplies to Bridgewater and West Woodstock (in partnership with Woodstock’s Hand-In-Hand Community Service), while at the same time receiving a carload overflowing with clothing from the community collection at the Masonic Hall in Woodstock. This is the wonderful give and take that’s been rippling through the Upper Valley, ensuring that no one goes without hope and resources during these trying times.

1. Current Haven Food Needs:

- All refrigerated items such as meats, eggs, butter and margarines (we have adequate refrigerator and freezer space)
- Paper plates, plastic cutlery, cups, napkins & foil*
- Cheese
- Milk
- Cases of yogurt
- Baby formula
- Meals in cans
- Individual juice boxes
- Canned fruit
- Spaghetti sauces

*The Haven usually tries to limit the use of plastics and individually wrapped foods to protect our natural environment, but in this circumstance those receiving meal donations need supplies to eat and store these foods.

2. Clothing & Bedding –we have enough at this time
We have collected adequate clothing and bedding to serve “Phase One” of emergency needs, but know within time supplies will dwindle. We are requesting that people HOLD ONTO & STORE clothing and bedding, and continue to check our website regularly to determine which supplies are in current demand. We know that within time, during “Phase Two” of the community’s recovery, there will be significant needs but we cannot predict right now specifically what and when these will be. Please continue to partner with us!

3. Hurricane Irene Fund
Through our Outreach Program, the Haven has set up a fund specifically to help storm victims with various emergency needs. All funds donated go directly to those who have been devastated by the natural disaster. For example, this week we were able to give a West Hartford woman whose home was flooded the funds to fix her car that was damaged by the storm so that she could at least continue to travel to her work and maintain employment. If you know of anyone whose emergency situation could be made manageable with modest financial help please urge them to call us. Our case managers are trained and available all year round to work with people to find solutions in moments of severe challenge and crisis.

To donate food and supplies please stop by the Haven. To donate funds you can send a check, call with a credit card number, or make a contribution online at www.uppervalleyhaven.org.

www.uppervalleyhaven.org
802.295.6500

Replacing the irreplaceable: We are offering to recreate by hand a lost piece of furniture that was an heirloom or special for some reason. The loss can be related to the storm or some other disaster such as a fire or theft. The workshop is in New Hampshire. Want to surprise someone who has sustained this loss? contact me: [email protected]

More links added to the original post. Thanks all.

I'm selling shirts and stickers to raise funds for victims in Waterbury. 100% of the profits will be split 50/50 between the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund and Revitalizing Waterbury.

Check it out here: www.thisstuffkicksass.org

Thanks for your support.

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